McDaniel announces upcoming plans: a bright future for January term, spring semester, and more

Students can get tested under the tent outside of Hoover Library (Rachel Allen/McDaniel Free Press).Students can get tested under the tent outside of Hoover Library (Rachel Allen/McDaniel Free Press).

The Return to the Hill Committee (RTTH) announced plans for January Term and the Spring Semester. With Covid-19 affecting millions of people, McDaniel has been taking many precautions to ensure safety of staff and students this year. This has allowed a smooth fall semester for staff and any students that chose to take hybrid classes  or live on campus. In an effort to maintain this level of safety and function in the spring, McDaniel has altered their Jan Term and Spring dates. 

RTTH explained because of the likelihood of another COVID-19 spike in the winter months, all Jan term classes will be held online either synchronously or asynchronously and there will be no residency offered on campus.

 All courses that require travel, both domestically and internationally have been canceled. Students may receive credit for in-person internships if the health and safety protocols of the external sites have been approved by the college in advance. Registration for Jan term classes will begin September 21.

Residence halls and Englar Dining Hall will close on Wednesday, November 25 at noon. When moving out for winter break, students will no longer be required to move all personal belongings out of their dorm; which was a previous requirement at the beginning of the year. There will be more information about the Spring move in process coming soon. 

Once spring semester begins, McDaniel will be taking extra steps to ensure the safety of its students and faculties. This includes delaying the start of the Spring semester to February 1 in order to reduce class scheduling during flu season. This also includes removing days set aside for spring break, in an effort to reduce off campus travel. A full Spring semester schedule is available on McDaniel’s website.

One of the biggest changes to the Spring semester is the return to the typical semester class style, removing the 7-week class schedule that the Fall semester is currently under. The classes offered in the Spring will also be offered either virtually, traditionally, or in a hybrid fashion, similar to the classes in the Spring semester. Students who are staying at home will have the option to stay home in the Spring, however the college has not announced anything about previously online students moving back onto campus. 

The college also announced that it will not be sending students abroad, specifically to the McDaniel Budapest satellite campus. The campus is looking to send students internationally as soon as they deem it is safe to do so.

The RTTH committee has also advised that students returning to campus in February will need to have documentation proving that they have gotten a flu shot before February 2, 2021, and students should come back to campus with a negative COVID-19 test done during the winter break. The committee did not announce if they planned on holding another school-wide testing move-in, similar to that during August. 

Flu shots will begin being administered in the Kiltzberg pavilion on the following dates: Tuesday September 22, Wednesday October 7, Wednesday October 21 and Thursday November 12. The college advises that students take advantage of this opportunity before the end of the Fall semester, to prepare for a healthy return to campus in February. 

As the RTTH committee announced, any and all announcements and decisions are subject to change in the coming months, so it is important to remember to stay safe and stay informed about the college’s decisions, as well as any developments outside of the college that may impact our return to the hill in February.